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Dubai Food Festival partners with literature and photo festivals to bring international food writing and photography experts to Dubai

February 7, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) today announced that two of the city’s most popular creative arts events will join the Dubai Food Festival, with explorations into the art of food writing and photography.

The collaborations with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Gulf Photo Plus’ annual photography festival, GPP2014, bring internationally renowned Chef Greg Malouf and food photographer and blogger Matt Armendariz to the inaugural 23-day Dubai Food Festival – adding to its burgeoning line-up of events and further promoting Dubai’s emergence as a global gastronomic destination.

Chef and author Greg Malouf will join the line-up of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, appearing at three events that showcase his new style of ‘Modern Middle Eastern’ cooking as he also delves into the art of food writing.250x250

  • At the ‘Friday Literary Lunch’ (7th March 13:00, ‘Terra Firma’ restaurant at the InterContinental Hotel, Festival City), attendees will enjoy sampling Chef Malouf’s culinary creations as Greg and his co-author, Lucy Malouf, discuss the origins of the cuisine. The pair will also recount the colourful travel tales that have served as the inspiration for their exotic cookery books, including their latest ‘Malouf: New Middle Eastern Food’ and others such as ‘Turquoise: A Chef’s Travels in Turkey’; ‘Saha: A Chef’s Journey Through Lebanon and Syria’; and ‘Moorish: Flavours from Mecca to Marrakech’.
  • Following the lunch, Greg and Lucy Malouf will head up an informative and interactive session discussing Dubai’s restaurant and culinary culture (7th March 18.30 at the InterContinental Hotel, Festival City). The former chef at Melbourne Australia’s MoMo restaurant will discuss his journey in the lead up to the opening of his new Dubai restaurant, as well as give insight into what specific flavours mark the Emirate’s restaurant culture.
  • On the following day, Greg will join a group of other high profile chefs and food writers for The Foodie Panel (8th March, 11.30-12.30, Intercontinental Hotel, Festival City), which looks at how and why food became such a popular subject of television shows. Joining Greg on the panel, will be Tessa Kiros, author of a range of cookery books including ‘Lemoncello and Linen Water’; Prue Leith, restaurateur and author of twelve cookbooks including ‘Leith’s Cookery Bible’; Arlette Boutros, distinguished typographer, interior designer and writer of highly acclaimed cooking book ‘Enjoy’; and William Sitwell, award-winning editor, broadcaster and author of ‘A History of Food in 100 Recipes’.

From the art of writing about food to the art of food photography, the Dubai Food Festival is also partnering with the 10th edition of the Gulf Photo Plus annual photography festival, GPP2014 (7th to 14th March, Dubai Knowledge Village Conference Centre).  Through the partnership, Dubai Food Festival is bringing expert food photographer and blogger Matt Armendariz of,  to both GPP2014 and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature for a  Great Writing and Food Photography For Bloggersworkshop (7th March, 18.00).  Joining the festival’s line up, Matt will share invaluable advice for aspiring food bloggers and writers based on his 18 years’ experience within the food industry. This event will be free to attend but online registration is required.

As part of GPP2014, Matt will also:

  • Hold a seminar entitled ‘How to Make Delicious Food Photos With Your Smartphone’ (7th March, 11.30 – 13.00), during which he will share his insights, tricks and secrets for taking great photos with nothing more than a phone.
  • Host a two-day ‘Food Photography, in-Depth’ workshop (9th and 10th March, 09.00-17.00) during which photography enthusiasts and professionals will learn all the techniques of lighting, props, food styling and retouching in order to take mouthwatering images.  

Her Excellency Laila Mohammed Suhail Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, commented: “We are delighted to bring Matt Armendariz and Greg and Lucy Malouf to Dubai for these prestigious events during the inaugural Dubai Food Festival. Their involvements add a new dimension of culinary talking points to the festival’s full line-up of events while also adding to the experiences of the attendees of both GPP2014 and the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

“As Dubai’s profile as a regional and international arts and media hub continues to grow, so too do its culinary credentials. These collaborations bring the worlds of literature and photography together with the culinary arts in a way that is truly exciting while also highlighting Dubai’s diverse and vibrant dining scene in a way that has never been done before.”

Also joining the Dubai Food Festival on 3rd March, as a preview to GPP2014, food stylist Fiona Archibold will lead a 90-minute ‘Food Styling Seminar’, during which she will discuss the role of the food stylist in creating stunning food photography. Similar to Matt Armendariz’s workshop, Fiona will share her secrets, tips and tricks to make ordinary food dishes look sumptuous and delicious with a variety of tools and techniques. (3rd March, 19.00 – 20.30, Gulf Photo Plus Office, Alserkal Avenue).

  • Tickets for the 2014 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature are available at WHSmith outlets in Dubai Mall (lower-ground level), Oasis Centre Mall, Marina Mall and Al Wahda Mall, Abu Dhabi or online at

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